English Toffee

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Recipe Courtesy of

Servings: about 40 pieces
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2   chopped pecans
2 tablespoon cold water
1 cup sugar
14 tablespoon (1 stick plus 6 tablespoons) butter
dash salt
1   (6-ounce bag) semisweet chocolate chips or thin chocolate bars





Generously butter a cookie sheet.

Put butter, sugar, and water in a heavy pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a bubbling boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove spoon from pan, and cook to a very brittle stage (300 degrees to 310 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Or, make a cold water test: candy will separate into hard, brittle threads when dropped in cold water. Remove from heat and add nuts to mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Pour onto prepared cookie sheet and spread to 1/4-inch thickness. Cool slightly, top with chocolate chips or chocolate bars, and spread as it melts. Cool completely and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Show: Paula's Home Cooking/Just Desserts cookbook
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Reader Comments:


I burned the first batch, in large part because the pan I was using had too large a diameter. The batch went from 250 degrees and bubbly to 300 degrees and burned very quickly at medium high heat. I tried again in a smaller pan at between medium and medium-high heat with great results. Even with the better arrangement, it was JUST starting to burn when it got to 300 degrees. Be ready to pull it off the heat the moment it gets to 300 or the moment you smell trouble. It was tricky, but delicious.

By Michael on December 27, 2012


Used a pan that was too large in diameter the first time, and the whole batched burned right before it got to 300 degrees. I went with a smaller pan the second time, and it turned out great.

By Anonymous on December 27, 2012


I am so angry right now I could spit! The entire batch went from syrup to granulated sugar swimming in butter. What a waste of time and money. I make fudge every year without any trouble, same procedure, same stirring, etc. Please remove this recipe from the internet unless you tell folks it is a bust.

By Susan on December 18, 2012


on TV you melted the chocolate and poured over cooled toffee. Why the diffence now? Stop licking your fingers and than picking up food with your licked fingers. I don't do that with my own family. You never used to do that in the beginning. I've been watching a long time.

By Trish Trusty on December 17, 2011


So, so delicious. I didn't have a candy thermometer, so I just cooked it until it was a dark brown color, about 7 minutes. Also, I put it in a loaf pan because, if I had made it on a cookie sheet, the toffee would've been spread too thin.

By Chloe on September 20, 2011


So good. I give it as Christmas gifts. I make some plain, some with nuts and some with chocolate and nuts. Everyone loves it.

By B. McLauglin on September 16, 2011


There are so many delicious looking recipies that I don't know which one to make first. I am my parent's caregiver and am always looking to make them something special. They have been married for 73 years and my Dad has a big sweet tooth - actually I think they all are sweet teeth! Paula makes everything look easy and I can't wait to get started. Thank you, Paula, for your heavenly treats.

By Jean Winters on May 24, 2011


A great recipe to make but you must have a candy thermometer!

By Master Chef on December 28, 2010


Best toffee recipe I have found. I love your show and hope to meet you in person someday.

By Gaylon Johnson on December 21, 2010


By Gaylon Johnson on December 21, 2010


An easy, yummy treat. I like to give it as a gift around the holidays.

By Abby on December 21, 2010


Hello Paula, I just love watching your shows. My son was born in Savannah and I just love it. I enjoy looking at your kitchen and the scenery outside too. May God Bless you and yours Norinda Rodriguez

By Norinda on December 20, 2010


you will lovvvvvvvvvve this recipe i try it last year grrrrrrrrrrreat roxie

By Anonymous on September 02, 2010


Very easy to make and tastes like it came from a candy shop!

By Anonymous on July 29, 2010


this is so yummy!! I have made this befor for my family and they love it. I made a double batch for a bake sale and it was the 1st thing gone. People kept comming back asking for more. Thanks PAULA!!

By Anonymous on July 29, 2010


love it..............my hubby @ i ate it all up..very easy too

By Anonymous on December 18, 2009


By Anonymous on December 16, 2009


This is easy and delicious. I saw Paula make it on her show in the morning, and with the exception of the chocolate chips, I had everything on hand and made it that afternoon.

By Anonymous on December 06, 2009

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